How Do Figure Skaters Stay Skinny?

Figure skaters are often admired not only for their grace and athleticism on the ice but also for their slender physique. But how do these athletes maintain their enviable figures while performing high-intensity routines and executing breathtaking jumps? The secret lies in their rigorous training, strategic nutrition, and laser focus on overall wellness.

In this blog post, we will delve into the world of figure skating to uncover the aspects of physical conditioning, diet, and mental health that contribute to a skater’s lean body composition.

Quick Takeaways

  • Figure skaters stay skinny by engaging in high-intensity training with muscle-building exercises and cardiovascular workouts to develop strength, agility, and endurance.
  • Proper nutrition is crucial for figure skaters, including a balanced diet with adequate protein intake, proper hydration, and avoiding fad diets.
  • Coaches and judges can influence figure skater’s body image leading to pressure to maintain a certain weight. Athletes should prioritize mental and emotional health while emphasizing overall well-being for optimal performance on the ice.

The Physical Demands And Training Of Figure Skating

Figure skating requires high-intensity training, including muscle-building exercises and cardiovascular workouts, to develop the strength, agility, and endurance needed for performance.

High-intensity Training

As a figure skater, one of the crucial elements of my training routine is high-intensity workouts. These sessions push my body to its limits and help me maintain the lean physique necessary for optimal performance in competitive figure skating.

What makes these high-intensity sessions so effective is their ability to burn a significant number of calories while also promoting muscle growth and endurance. For example, an hour-long spin class can torch up to 700 calories! Additionally, incorporating challenging strength-training exercises allows us figure skaters to build essential muscles that support our joints during jumps and intricate footwork sequences.

One key fact I’ve learned throughout my career is that Olympic skater Ashley Wagner follows a specific diet plan in addition to her rigorous workout schedule (Fact 3).

Muscle-building Exercises

As a figure skater, it’s essential to build muscle for strength and endurance. Here are some of the most effective muscle-building exercises:

  • Squats: Squats are great for building lower-body strength, which is crucial for jumps and spins on the ice.
  • Lunges: Lunges work the legs and glutes, helping skaters develop power and stability.
  • Deadlifts: Deadlifts target multiple muscle groups, including the legs, back, and core. They’re excellent for building overall strength and improving posture on the ice.
  • Pull-ups: Pull-ups build upper body strength, which is necessary for lifts and jumps in pairs skating.
  • Push-ups: Push-ups work the chest, arms, shoulders, and core. They’re a great exercise to improve upper body strength.

Incorporating these exercises into a regular workout routine can help figure skaters build strong muscles that support their performance on the ice. Remember to prioritize proper form over heavy weights or high reps to prevent injury.

Cardiovascular Workouts

Cardiovascular workouts are an essential part of figure skating training. As a figure skater, I have included various cardio routines in my workout plan to enhance my endurance and performance on the ice. Here are some examples that have worked for me:

  • Jumping jacks
  • High knees
  • Burpees
  • Jogging in place
  • Mountain climbers
  • Jump rope

These exercises help improve cardiovascular health, increase lung capacity, and build stamina. As a result, my body is better equipped to handle the high-intensity demands of figure skating. Skaters must incorporate cardiovascular workouts into their training routine to maintain optimal fitness levels and reduce the risk of injuries.

In conclusion, it’s crucial for figure skaters to understand the importance of cardiovascular exercises as part of their workout regimen. By including these types of workouts regularly, they can help boost their performance and overall health while on and off the ice.

The Importance Of Nutrition And Diet For Figure Skaters

Figure skaters rely on a balanced diet with adequate protein intake, proper hydration, and avoiding fad diets to fuel their high-intensity training and maintain optimal performance.

Balanced Meals With Adequate Protein Intake

As a figure skater, I know firsthand the importance of fueling my body with balanced meals that provide adequate protein. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue, which is crucial for performing jumps and spins on the ice.

Some examples of high-protein foods that I include in my meals are chicken breast, salmon, tofu, eggs, and Greek yogurt.

It’s also important to note that protein should be consumed throughout the day and not just after workouts. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming protein evenly spaced throughout the day can enhance muscle synthesis compared to consuming most of it at one time.

Proper Hydration

As a figure skater, staying hydrated is crucial for optimal performance. Drinking enough water ensures that the body can regulate temperature, transport nutrients throughout the body, and remove waste products effectively.

To stay adequately hydrated, figure skaters should aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.and consume other hydrating beverages like sports drinks or coconut water as needed.

It’s also important to consider factors like climate and activity level when determining fluid needs.

Dehydration can lead to reduced endurance and coordination abilities in figure skating which ultimately leads to poor performance on the ice.

Avoiding Fad Diets

As a figure skater, it can be tempting to fall into the trap of trying the latest fad diet to shed weight quickly. However, these diets are often not sustainable or healthy for long-term performance.

Instead, I focus on fueling my body with nutrient-dense foods that provide me with energy throughout the day.

I also steer clear of processed and sugary foods that can negatively impact my performance on the ice. Eating a balanced diet not only helps me maintain a healthy weight but also supports muscle growth and recovery from intense training sessions.

The Pressure To Maintain A Certain Body Type In Figure Skating

Coaches and judges can influence figure skaters’ body image, leading to pressure to maintain a certain weight and body type.

Influence From Coaches And Judges

As a figure skater, there is immense pressure to maintain a certain body type that aligns with what coaches and judges believe is ideal for the sport. These expectations can create an unhealthy environment where athletes are pushed to strive for unattainable weight goals, leading to disordered eating habits.

I have experienced firsthand how this pressure affects athletes mentally and emotionally. It’s crucial for coaches and judges to emphasize performance over appearance and encourage healthy habits instead of promoting restrictive diets or extreme weight loss methods.

As figure skaters, we need to prioritize our mental and emotional well-being just as much as our physical health.

Pressure From Media

As a figure skater, I have experienced first-hand how much pressure the media can put on us to maintain a certain body type. We are constantly bombarded with images of slender and fit top skaters who set the standard for what is considered “ideal.” This societal expectation can create an enormous burden on athletes who may feel compelled to adopt unhealthy practices in order to meet the demands of their sport.

It’s crucial that we as athletes and as a society recognize the damaging effects these expectations can have on individuals’ physical and mental health. Instead, we should prioritize overall well-being over fitting into an unrealistic mold with potentially dangerous consequences.

Setting Realistic Weight Goals And Expectations

As figure skaters, we strive to maintain a certain body type that fits our ideal performance standards. However, it’s important to set realistic weight goals and expectations for ourselves.

The pressure to conform to societal norms can be overwhelming, but we must remember that everyone has a different body shape and size.

For example, Olympic medalist Gabrielle Daleman struggled with her weight during the 2017-2018 season due to an autoimmune disease affecting her metabolism. She learned the importance of setting realistic goals for herself and prioritizing her health over appearance.

As figure skaters, we need to focus on nourishing our bodies with healthy foods rather than restricting ourselves or obsessing over numbers on a scale.

Finding A Healthy Balance As A Figure Skater

Figure skaters should prioritize their mental and emotional health, which includes seeking professional help if needed and emphasizing overall well-being for optimal performance.

Prioritizing Mental And Emotional Health

As a figure skater, it’s easy to become consumed with maintaining the perfect body and performing flawlessly on the ice. However, it’s crucial to prioritize your mental and emotional health as well.

To prioritize my mental and emotional health, I make sure to take time for self-care practices like meditation or yoga. I also seek support from friends and family when needed and have even worked with a sports psychologist in the past to learn coping mechanisms for managing stress.

Additionally, focusing on activities outside of skating can help provide a sense of balance in life and reduce burnout risk.

Seeking Professional Help If Needed

It’s important for figure skaters to prioritize their mental and emotional health, as the pressure to maintain a certain body type can take a toll on their well-being.

If you’re struggling with body image concerns or disordered eating habits, seeking professional help can make all the difference. A sports psychologist or registered dietitian who specializes in working with athletes can provide valuable insight and support.

Olympic skater Ashley Wagner has spoken openly about her experience working with a sports psychologist to address anxiety and other mental health issues that were impacting her performance on the ice.

Emphasizing Overall Well-being For Optimal Performance

As a figure skater, it’s essential to prioritize overall well-being for optimal performance on the ice. This means taking care of both physical and mental health by incorporating healthy habits into daily life.

It’s not just about weight or body composition, but also stress levels, rest, and recovery time. When I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed with my training schedule, I make sure to take a break and do something that relaxes me like reading a book or listening to music.

In addition to this self-care routine, seeking professional help can be beneficial in managing any mental health issues or eating disorders that may arise from the pressure to maintain a certain body type in figure skating.

It’s important to remember that achieving peak performance requires more than just physical fitness – it also involves finding balance in all aspects of life.

Is It Safe for Figure Skaters to Continue Skating While Pregnant?

Many doctors advise against roller skating during pregnancy due to the risk of falling and injuring the fetus. However, figure skaters can continue to skate while pregnant with caution and approval from their healthcare provider. It’s important to prioritize safety and avoid any strenuous or risky moves.


In conclusion, figure skaters stay skinny through a combination of physical training and proper nutrition. High-intensity workouts, muscle-building exercises, and cardiovascular activities are essential for maintaining optimal performance on the ice.

A balanced diet with adequate protein intake, hydration, and avoiding fad diets is crucial for fueling their bodies appropriately. However, it’s important to remember that elite adolescent female figure skaters often face pressure to conform to societal expectations of a specific body type.

Finding a healthy balance by prioritizing mental and emotional health while emphasizing overall well-being is necessary for achieving success as a figure skater.

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